On Saturday, we drove 45 minutes into the country to have lunch at the 10th annual Parkdale Maplewood Heritage Blueberry Festival. Although the blueberries make the headline, we went because they serve a traditional Lunenburg County cooked dinner before the blueberry desserts. Homemade brown bread and pickles are the usual side dishes -- but the pickles are not traditionally glued to the bread with mounds of butter. This is Sylvie's culinary innovation. I'm not sure exactly what kind of brown bread that is but man, was it good. Sweet and slightly nutty. Sort of like Vivi herself.
Lunenburg County was settled by Germans, and this is reflected in the traditional food. That sauerkraut mixed with red and green peppers at the top of the plate is a delicious cold, sweet sauerkraut salad. Directly below it is a hot dish of Lunenburg sausage and hot, tangy sauerkraut. The sausage is definitely unappetizing to look at but it's very good to eat. Below the mound of sauerkraut is one piece of Solomon Gundy -- pickled herring. It's not my favourite dish but I took a piece in an effort to be a completist. Next to that, in the six o'clock position, is a piece of Lunenburg pudding. It is similar to Lunenburg sausage, except is eaten cold, has a texture similar to that of liverwurst, and tastes more of nutmeg. Again, it's not my personal fave. Next to the pudding is some hodge podge (potato, yellow and green beans, and carrot) sans the cream soup base, and above the hodge podge is a scoop of smeltz potatoes, which are a mixture of potatoes, pork scaps, onions, and apples. All of the ingredients on this plate were produced locally and have been for over 250 years.
In case you are wondering, that white and orange object to the right of my plate is a tiny stuffed unicorn. At Lunenburg County cooked dinners -- a meal generally served at lunchtime -- a tiny stuffed unicorn guards the plate of each diner. Okay, not really. That is a tiny stuffed unicorn that a man at the flea market outside gave to Luke.
The children had wild blueberry pie for dessert -- blueberries grow like weeds around here. You couldn't get rid of them if you wanted to. And they are so much sweeter and more delicious than farmed ones.
David, Grampa and I had wild blueberry grunt. Yum. (Blueberry grunt is defined in this excellent Lunenburg County dictionary -- go take a look.)
I'll post more photos from the festival when I get a chance later -- it was a stunningly beautiful fall day and we got some good shopping done, too.